This past year, Saint Paul's Lutheran Church in Closter, NJ celebrated it's 125 year. But yet as we dig into the history of Saint Paul's and we recognize the church not as a building but a gathering of people, Saint Paul's is really celebrating 144 years of ministry in Closter. An exert from our history states this:
"As early as 1868 the Closter area Lutheran's were a part of the "Circuit" of Trinity Lutheran Church, Ninth Street and Avenue B in New York City. Annually the Reverend F. W. Foehlinger of Trinity would come to Closter to hold house services of Communion and Baptism for the Lutherans in the area.
Recognizing the spiritual values and strengths of a worshiping group, these Lutherans then called upon Rev. G. Koenig to serve them on a more regular basis. For the period from 1872-1876 these services were held in the homes of: Mr. Ernest Kook, Mr. Henry Gruben, Mr. J.C. Gruben, Mr. Deitrich Gruben, and Mr. Hoppe.
Our Lord blessed this group of Christians, for these services met with such success, and proved to be so positive, that it was decided to organize a congregation in Closter." 'Plain Print' History by Nicholas Dashcund
Two things were important as these House Churches met. 1) Sponsorship and Pastoral Oversight - they were part of the "Circuit" of Trinity Lutheran Church in New York and Rev. F. W. Foehlinger was the overseeing pastor. 2) The 7closeERROR: No results were found for your search.closeERROR: No results were found for your search. marks of the church (The Word of God, Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, Confession and Absolution, Ministry, Worship, Suffering (the Cross))
It's a cool thing to see how the Holy Spirit work through the Church in homes of God's saints.
Peace and love in Christ,Matt Hass